The session was conducted as a pilot effort

Final-year students from four colleges got to know about the relationships that existed in a family, marriage-ability traits, misconceptions about sexual relationships, ego conflicts among spouses, and came up with suggestions on managing issues in marriage at a pre-marital counselling, at PSG Institute of Management, in Coimbatore on Thursday.

The session was conducted as a pilot effort, in response to a demand from a few girl students and as an effort to prepare girls for a career and also a successful marriage.

Realising its importance, pre-marital counselling is made mandatory for ‘to-be-couples’ in countries abroad. As practising psychologists say, counselling with respect to marriage in India enters a person’s life only after marriage and before divorce, with the exception of some that is offered in churches. However, to avoid such situations, PSGIM started off its own pre-marital counselling session, the organisers say.

K.P. Naachimuthu, Assistant Professor, PSGIM, who was the resource person, explaining the reason behind the counselling, said: “We have a concept of mentoring wherein eight students are assigned to one faculty. Through these mentoring sessions we got to know the problems youth were facing in terms of relationships. There was also a demand from some girl students that such a session be conducted. Hence, we planned it for a small group of 20. But word got around and today we have 32 from three other colleges.”

“Studies have revealed that the number of divorce cases is constantly on the rise. Main reasons have been identified as lack of clarity in concerns of marital life, unrealistic expectations, ego conflicts, and problems with relationship management.

The counselling session touched upon all these and is expected to equip them to build a strong base for a lasting marriage. However, it was more of deliberation and suggestion-giving interactions rather than problem-solving, because no two individuals can solve a problem in the same way,” Mr. Naachimuthu said. There were various activities, including games, to enable participants know about their own self, their relationship with their immediate companion, and then with a larger group.

Thirty to 35 issues that couples normally faced in marriage were taken up and the participants were asked to come up with suggestions to manage them.

Almost all participants said they volunteered to attend the counselling with the expectation that it would give them a perspective on marriage. Rohini Vijayan, a PSGIM student, said such sessions were needed to educate them, because there were many issues that could not be taken up with parents. Pointing out that with the changes in society, women were expected to play the dual role of a home maker and a wage earner, R. Nandagopal, Director of PSGIM, said that the onus of balancing this became even more significant in a male-dominated society.

With the aim of making the girl realise her role in a family after marriage and how to cope with pressures, the institute plans to make such sessions regular in the academic calendar.